Kids love a craft project, and you can save some money and keep them entertained by setting them up with crafts that use materials from your recycle bins and from nature.
Getting bills in the mail is never fun, but the security envelopes they come in are perfect for making collages, paper flowers, re-usable stickers and all sorts of other paper crafts. Next time the mail comes, peek inside of those envelopes with a crafty eye. They're printed on the inside, so that you can't read the documents through the envelope, and they come in an array of patterns and colors.
Spend some outdoor time with the kids on a nature walk, and gather up pretty twigs, leaves, flowers, and stones that you can use in all sorts of crafty projects. Just make sure you're not disturbing fragile habitats â€“ it's fine to collect a few things, but you don't want to damage a nature preserve in the name of crafting! Afterwards, you can press the leaves and flowers that you collected from your yard or at the park. Even the rocks that you find have great crafting potential [source: Stewart].
When the crafting's done, amuse the kids with colorful play dough that you made yourself on the cheap!